Refusing to listen

I RECOGNISE and share many of the views Derek Santer expressed in his letter to the County Times ‘Opinions ignored’ (May 3).

I too do not want our historic Old Town Hall sold off, our leisure centre demolished, or thousands of unaffordable homes built, changing the shape of our treasured landscape forever.

Time and again our elected representatives refuse to listen or respond to the wishes of local residents.The latest, and perhaps most shocking example to date, is the sham consultation which the council is currently undertaking in respect of Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre.

The survey which we have been asked to fill in includes only options already ‘approved’ by our out of touch, and out of town, Tory cabinet. Nowhere on the survey is the option to maintain and improve the existing facility which thousands of us have already expressed as our preference.

My analysis of our current situation within our district council is that the Tories think they can take the electorate and Tory control of the council for granted. The Lib Dems, as their disastrous polling in last week’s local elections illustrates, are so bound up with the fortunes or otherwise of the Tory-led coalition Government, that even if they wished to provide any kind of a legitimate opposition here in Horsham, that opportunity has long since passed.

This then provides Horsham residents like Mr Santer with a dilemma, continue voting the same way in the full knowledge that nothing is likely to change, or withhold your vote and stay at home on election day, or follow the example of thousands of voters who last week expressed their dissatisfaction with the Tory and Lib Dem Government, voting instead to elect more than 800 community focused Labour councillors.

The fact that this happened only a few weeks after councillor Peter Burgess suggested that the country had turned its back on Labour illustrates just how much the Tories are disconnected from the rest of the nation.

DAVID HIDE

Chair, Horsham Labour Party

Clarence Road, Horsham